How to Track Sweepstakes Wins

Create a Sweepstakes Tracking Spreadsheet to Track Sweepstakes Prizes

Tracking sweepstakes wins is useful for many reasons. For one thing, you can make sure that you really receive all of the prizes that you've won. For another, it will save you a lot of time (and avoid costly errors) at tax time. And finally, reviewing all of the prizes you've won helps keep you motivated to enter sweepstakes and to win even more.

By tracking your wins, you can also see what methods of sweeping work best for you. Here is some of the information you might want to include when you track sweepstakes prizes. You can pick and choose which categories are most important to you.

Date the Prize was Won

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The first column in my prize tracker spreadsheet is the date the prize was won. Personally, I like to tally up my wins for each month, and report them in the Monthly Winners' Roundup, and that's easier to do if I track the dates of my prize wins.

Sweepstakes Sponsor and Fulfillment Company

Next, I make note of the sweepstakes sponsor and fulfillment company on my sweepstakes tracker spreadsheet, assuming I know them both. For example, the sponsor of one of my recent wins was Merry Maids, and ePrize was the fulfillment company. This helps me keep track of which companies are lucky for me, and which never seem to work.

What Prize You Won

Next, I describe the prize on my sweepstakes tracker spreadsheet. This is always the most fun part for me -- making note of a fun prize and anticipating how great it will be to receive it!

ARV of the Prize

The ARV of a sweepstakes prize is the sponsor's estimate of its value. This is an important value to track, especially since it can affect your taxes.

FMV of the Prize

FMV stands for Fair Market Value, and it's this amount, and not the ARV, that you need to pay taxes on. Sometimes the ARV and FMV will be the same, but at other times you can find proof that the prize is selling for less when you receive it. Then you could reduce your taxes by Disputing the ARV on Your Taxes.

Entry Frequency of the Sweepstake

Entry frequency is something I like to include on my sweepstakes tracking spreadsheet because I like to see which entry methods are the most successful. Because I track the sweepstakes frequency, I've noticed that I tend to do better with daily sweepstakes than one-entry. This is one example of how tracking your prizes can help you to win even more!

Type of Sweepstake

I like to keep a record of which types of sweepstakes I win, so that I can see which entry methods work best for me. Some common types of sweepstakes you can track are:

  • Online sweepstakes
  • Mail-in sweepstakes
  • Contest (writing contest, photo or video contest, recipe contest, etc.)
  • Instant win sweepstakes
  • Trivia contest
  • Social media sweepstakes
From this, I've learned that instant sweepstakes tend to be the luckiest for me. I wouldn't be sure if I hadn't tracked my sweepstakes prizes.

Time of Day of Your Win

This section of the sweepstakes tracking spreadsheet is optional, and only relevant to instant win sweepstakes. If you'd like to know whether entering in the morning, in the evening, on weekends, or on holidays pays off for you, you can note the time of day of your instant wins in this column.

Win Notification Method

Some people like to track not only what they won, but also how they found out about it. It could be interesting to see whether more sweepstakes notifications come by mail, by telephone, or by another method.

Date to Return the Affidavit

If I need to return an affidavit to claim my prize, I like to note the date in my sweepstakes tracking spreadsheet. This helps ensure that I don't forget or put off sending in the affidavit, cheating myself out of a prize. You can also put in the date the affy was actually returned, as proof to yourself it was sent in on time.

When the Prize is Due to Arrive

Most sweepstakes rules state how long it takes from the time the winner is notified until the time the prize will be received. You can note the expected arrival date on your sweepstakes tracking spreadsheet, so that if the prize hasn't arrived within a few weeks of the due date, you can remember to ask the sponsor about it.

Date Prize Was Received - And Your Reaction

The final entry on your sweepstakes tracking website is the date the prize actually arrived, and your reaction to it. It's fun to be able to look back later and see how excited you and your family members were when you received a prize. This is also a great source of motivation when it's been a while since your last win.

Download a Free Prize Spreadsheet

Want an easy way to keep track of your sweepstakes prizes? Download my free prize spreadsheet. It's an Excel sheet that's already set up for you to input your prize wins.